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Guide to the James I. Loeb Papers ALBA.158

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
10th Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-2630
tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu


Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Wendy Scheir

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on August 09, 2017
Description is in English. using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Loeb, James I. (James Isaac), 1908-
Title: James I. Loeb Papers
Dates [inclusive]: 1937-1963
Dates [bulk]: bulk
Abstract: James Isaac Loeb (1908-1992), began his career of public service as a member of the Socialist Party, supporting the antifascist effort in Spain during the Spanish Civil War and leading efforts to aid refugees. The collection consists predominantly of correspondence documenting Loeb's efforts to coordinate international aid for refugees, as well as his analyses of international and inter-party politics.
Quantity: 0.25 Linear Feet in 1 manscript box
Language: Materials are in English.
Call Phrase: ALBA.158

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Historical/Biographical Note

James Isaac Loeb (1908-1992) was born in Illinois. After receiving his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 1938, Loeb moved to New York City with his wife, Ellen. There, Loeb's belief in the Spanish republican cause and his passionate desire to combat totalitarianism led him into political activism, beginning what turned into a career of public service.

A member of the International Labor Solidarity Committee of the Socialist Party, Loeb grew to detest the factionalism that he felt was damaging the unity and effectiveness of many progressive efforts, and during this period he became a sharp critic of the Communist Party. Despite his disaffection, Loeb continued working to gain freedom for Spanish political prisoners and to provide support to refugees. Fluent in Spanish and French, he traveled to Europe to meet with Socialist and other progressive leaders.

In 1941, Loeb co-founded and directed the Union for Democratic Action, and in 1947 he co-founded Americans for Democratic Action. From 1951-1952, Loeb was consultant to President Truman's special counsel. In 1952, he was executive assistant to Governor W. Averell Harriman. From 1961-1962, he was U.S. Ambassador to Peru, and Ambassador to Guinea from 1963-1965.

Sources:

  • Oral History Interviews with James I. Loeb, Truman Presidential Museum and Library
  • The Papers of James I. Loeb, Dartmouth College Library

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Scope and Content Note

The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence documenting Loeb's efforts to coordinate international aid for refugees of the Spanish Civil War, as well as his analyses of international and inter-party politics. Index cards with notes in blue felt tip pen interspersed throughout the collection were probably written by Loeb around 1970 in preparation to donate the materials to the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives.

In letters to Socialist comrades and others, including Roger Baldwin of the American Civil Liberties Union, Loeb expresses anger and disappointment at the increasing factionalism on the left; this sentiment is borne out as well in a Socialist Party statement declaring withdrawal from the Medical Bureau and North American Committee to Aid Spanish Democracy. In a section of a book proposal, "The Appeal to Unity," Loeb analyzes international political forces at play during and after the Spanish Civil War. Correspondence with Arthur G. McDowell, Acting Executive Secretary of the Socialist Party discusses underground antifascist activity in Spain and Germany.

Materials from the 1950s include telegrams from Norman Thomas to Franco, Truman and others regarding the threatened executions of Spanish trade union leaders. Also from this period Thomas writes to the Minister of Justice in Barcelona requesting amnesty for leaders of the communist organization Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista (P.O.U.M.) who had been arrested and accused of being fascist collaborators, and for the release of Russell Blackwell, an American jailed in Spain.

Arrangement

Folders are arranged alphabetically.

The files are grouped into one series:

Missing Title

  1. I, Spanish Refugee Aid and Relief

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Thomas, Norman, 1884-1968
  • Loeb, James I. (James Isaac), 1908-
  • Baldwin, Roger Nash, 1884-1981
  • McDowell, Arthur G.
  • Meiklejohn, Kenneth.
  • Ríos, Fernando de los, 1879-1949
  • Schneebaum, Nandor.

Document Type

  • Typescripts.
  • Personal papers.
  • Drafts (documents)
  • Correspondence.
  • Articles.

Subject Organizations

  • Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista
  • North American Committee to Aid Spanish Democracy
  • Medical Bureau to Aid Spanish Democracy
  • Medical Bureau and North American Committee to Aid Spanish Democracy
  • Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives
  • Socialist Party (U.S.)

Subject Topics

  • Socialism -- United States.
  • Spain -- History -- Civil War, 1936-1939.
  • Communism -- Spain -- History.

Subject Places

  • Spain |x History |y Civil War, 1936-1939 |x Foreign public opinion.
  • Spain |x History |y Civil War, 1936-1939 |v Sources.
  • Spain |x History |y Civil War, 1936-1939 |x Causes.

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Administrative Information

Custodial History

The James I. Loeb Papers were donated to Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives by James I. Loeb in 1969 and 1970. This collection came to New York University in January 2001 as part of the original acquisition of ALBA collections, formerly housed at Brandeis University.

Access Restrictions

Materials are open to researchers. Please contact the Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives for more information and to schedule an appointment, tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu or 212-998-2630.

Use Restrictions

Any rights (including copyright and related rights to publicity and privacy) held by the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA), were transferred to New York University in November 2000 by the ALBA Board of Governors. Permission to publish or reproduce materials in this collection must be secured from the Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives. For more information, contact tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu or 212-998-2630.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date; James I. Loeb Papers; ALBA 151; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

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Container List

Series I: Spanish Refugee Aid and Relief

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 The Appeal to Unity: Section of book proposal by Loeb (typescript)
ca.1963
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Bibliography: Spanish Civil War material
undated
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Clippings
1938-1939
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Correspondence: Argentine Socialist Party
Feb 1939
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Correspondence: Baldwin, Roger
Feb 1939
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Correspondence: Castro, José
Feb 1939-Mar 1939
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Correspondence: General
undated , Feb 1937-Apr 1939
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Correspondence: Letters to the Editor
undated , May 1939
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Correspondence: McDowell, Arthur G.
Mar 1939-Apr 1939
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Correspondence: Meiklejohn, Kenneth
undated , Jan 1938, Jan 1939
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Correspondence: Plaza, Juan M.
Mar 1939-May 1939
Box: 1 Folder : 12 Correspondence: Ríos, Fernando de los
undated , Jan 1937, Apr 1939
Box: 1 Folder : 13 Correspondence: Schneebaum, Nandor
Mar 1939
Box: 1 Folder : 14 Correspondence: Spanish Civil War refugees
Feb 1938-Apr 1939
Box: 1 Folder : 15 Correspondence: Thomas, Norman
Dec 1937-Apr 1939 , Mar 1952
Box: 1 Folder : 16 International Labor Solidarity Committee of the Socialist Party: Minutes
Nov 1938
Box: 1 Folder : 17 Medical Bureau and North American Committee to Aid Spanish Democracy: Flyers
Apr 1938
Box: 1 Folder : 18 Medical Bureau and North American Committee to Aid Spanish Democracy: Socialist statement of withdrawal from (typescript)
ca.1939
Box: 1 Folder : 19 Newsletters (in Spanish): Boletín Interior; Confederacion Naccional del Trabajo
1937 , 1939
Box: 1 Folder : 20 Spain's Tragedy: Socialist Party statement on political situation in Spain
1939
Box: 1 Folder : 21 Spanish Embassy in France: Authorization for Loeb's travel to Spain
Aug 1938
Box: 1 Folder : 22 Spanish Civil War refugees: Statements regarding
ca.1939 , ca.1951

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